The Mercury Road

Mac Oliver

loneliness 
The singing mustard down the Mission Road/A guide to wanderers, these sunburt hills'. Mac Oliver's book sings the landscape, ravaged and devastated, of the West of the United States. If one of the great themes of American poetry is the great outdoors, The Mercury Road turns it inside out and upside down. This collection of poems follows roads and tracks of a waste land that is at the same time local and universal: 'I see how Pluto's is the longest reign of all'. The sure handling of metre, the rhetorical strength of the images, the natural use of symbols evince Mac Oliver's best qualities as a poet. This is a strong collection of verse. Highly original, and yet, solidly anchored in the best of the English language poetic tradition.
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